United Arab Emirates

Dubai: Tall

Dubai

United Arab Emirates

April 3, 2016

Dear Friends,

“Tall!” 

In a word, that is how I would describe Dubai: “Tall, very tall!”

Apartment blocks, apartment clusters, office buildings, hotels, even the minarets of the mosques are all very tall.

Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa.  Piercing the skyline, the spike of a structure stands at 829.8m or 2722 ft. 

Set on a man-made island and shaped like the sail of a dhow, the traditional ship of Arabia, the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel stands at 321m or 1053 ft.  Burj Al Arab is only (!) the third tallest hotel in the world.   The other two?  JW Marriott Marquis and Rose Rayhaan?  Why also in Dubai, of course.

Al Ain: The Camel Market

Al Ain

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 18, 2016

 I didn’t count them of course, but there must be several hundred camels for sale at the Al Ain Camel Market.  Goats, too.

At first I thought,”Why do we need so many camels?” 

A few may be bred for racing.  But camels as a major means of transportation are now a distant historical memory.  **

Then I remembered, “Aren’t we all envious of anyone who can afford the ultra soft luxurious texture of a camel hair jacket or coat?” 

And that’s just the beginning.

Al Ain: The Day Off

Al Ain  (pop 632,000)

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 15, 2016

 

As-salamu alaykum,

Friday.  The Muslim Sabbath.  Al Ain is quiet.

I wander alone downtown.  Modern, low-rise office buildings dot the broad streets.  No skyscrapers!  A pleasant, colorful city.

I find a market area.  Only a few shops open.  Scarves on display.  One in particular?   I bargain hard ($20 to $5).  And wrap my new cotton treasure around my neck and shoulders.

Prayers over.

Holiday!  Day off!

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

April 10, 2016

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world.

I can’t think of anything more to say than what is written in my guidebook:*

“Rising majestically from beautifully manicured gardens and visible from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque presents an impressive welcome to the city.

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